DRIVEN: 2012 HONDA JAZZ

In case you are wondering why this car looks like the Honda Fit, there is a reason for that. It is the same car that has just been re-badged depending on the country of sale. Other minor modifications are also made to this peppy little ride to comply with country specific regulations. The i-VTEC engine that Honda has been producing for quite some time now is probably one of the best engines made. Variants have been powering the entire range of Hondas for a long long time. In case of the Honda Jazz, India is offered with the 1.2L version of the motor which packs a mean punch and makes city and highway driving an absolute pleasure.

Plus: We love the way it looks. Honda has taken its futuristic styling and has carefully applied it to the Jazz. The theme is not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. The placement of all the options seems very well thought out. With a weight of just 1055 kgs (~2300 lbs), the car is very nimble and easy to handle especially in rush hour traffic. You really get the feel that the car produces more than the 90HP Honda claims that it makes. The acceleration is very quick as are the brakes. The engine performs better and better the higher you rev. That is a key feature of most Honda motors with i-VTEC. The suspension is stiff but not to the point where the ride becomes too harsh. Mileage is also higher than average with an advertised 16.7 km per liter (although we will admit we did not get the advertised mileage).

Minus: The price. Most other options in the compact hatchback segment run around the Rs. 4,00,000 (~$8,000) to Rs. 5,50,000 (~$11,000) range. The Jazz starts off at Rs. 5,66,000 (~$11,300) and goes up to a whopping Rs. 7,00,000 (~$14,000)! The Jazz just priced itself out of the compact hatchback segment with those numbers. This also shows since the sales figures aren’t exactly what Honda expected especially with the myriad of options available from other manufacturers like Toyota, Suzuki and Fiat to name a few.

Overall: Aside from the price, we absolutely loved the Honda Jazz. It is a fun little car to drive around town and when the road opens up, you also get to enjoy that high pitched sound from under the hood. There are quite a few options that you can customize your Jazz with, both on the inside and on the outside. As long as you don’t plan on traveling with more than 4 people at a time, this little ride will do exactly what you want it to. And put a smile on your face while doing so.

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